Two lecture series — “Marine Transportation” and “Our Maritime Heritage: Old Salts and New Science” — have been planned for this year’s Coast Day celebration on Sunday, October 5, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the University of Delaware’s College of Marine Studies campus in Lewes. The lectures will provide a wealth of interesting facts and historical information on topics ranging from the Cape May–Lewes ferry to the discovery of a prehistoric fish.
The Marine Transportation Lecture Series will be launched at 11:30 a.m. in Room 202, Cannon Lab, when Dick Buckaloo will present “The Arts and Mysteries of the Bay and River Delaware.” Buckaloo, a former director of the Pilots’ Association of the Bay and River Delaware, has been piloting boats since 1964.
At 12:30 p.m., William J. Miller, Jr., a former executive director of the Delaware River and Bay Authority, will discuss a local landmark in his talk, “How Did the Cape May–Lewes Ferry Get Started?” He will be followed by Jennifer Whitener, communications coordinator for Kvaerner Philadelphia Ship-yard, Inc. The Norwegian-based company recently christened the 712-foot containership M.V. Manukai, the first ship to be built in Philadelphia in three decades. Whitener will speak on “Kvaerner Philadelphia Shipyard: Fulfilling the Promise, Building for the Future.”
The final lecture in the Maritime Transportation Lecture Series will be presented at 2:30 p.m. by Carl Sobremisana, a transportation specialist working on the Short Sea Shipping Task Force of the U.S. Maritime Administration. Formerly an urban waterfront planner with the New York City Planning Department, Sobremisana will explain a new initiative in “Short Sea Shipping: What Is It? Why Use It?” that promotes the use of coastal waterways to transport goods or passengers as a way to ease traffic congestion and air pollution on our nation’s rail and highway systems.
The Maritime Heritage Lecture Series also will begin at 11:30 a.m. in the Harbor Room of the Virden Center. Barney Barnhill, Bruce Donovan, and Bob Trapani, who are “surfmen” with the Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum, will kick off this series with “Wreck & Rescue ... Legacy of the U.S. Life-Saving Service.” They will bring history alive as they reenact the efforts of a dedicated corps of men — the surfmen of the U.S. Life-Saving Service — who risked their lives to save shipwreck victims.
The surfmen will be followed by Gil Meyer, director of Issues & Program Management at DuPont Agriculture & Nutrition, at 12:30 p.m. In his presentation, “A Gee-Whiz Look at the Science of the Future,” Meyer will explore how scientists and their research will impact our lives in the future decades.
At 1:30 p.m., William Ray Heitzmann, a faculty member at Villanova University, will look at nautical terms that have “drifted ashore” in “Salty Words in Land Language: America’s Rich Maritime Tradition.” Heitzmann has written a variety of articles that have appeared in the Beachcomber, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Journal of Marine Education, and other publications. The lecture series will conclude at 2:30 p.m. with Susan L. Jewett, collection manager of the Division of Fishes at the Smithsonian Institution. Jewett will captivate the audience with a tale of an ancient fish in her lecture, “The Elusive Coelacanth: A Remnant of Ancient Seas Lives On.”
The Marine Transportation Lecture Series is being sponsored by Maritrans Inc., and the Maritime Heritage Lecture Series is being sponsored by the DuPont Center for Collaborative Research and Education.
Coast Day is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to this educational and fun-filled event is free; parking is $2. For more information, contact the UD Marine Public Education Office at (302) 831-8083, or visit the Coast Day Web site at www.ocean.udel.edu/CoastDay.